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Nii Moi Thompson, CPP spokesperson The Convention People's Party has expressed their unhappiness with Nana Akufo-Addo stating the obvious that the 2008 elections will boil down to a straight fight between the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress.
The party has therefore issued a statement not only condemning that but by also questioning some statistics used by the NPP Presidential Candidate.
However, cross-checks made by The Statesman with accredited sources rather expose the CPP to be mounting a challenge with their own curious figures. The CPP picked on three main economic indicators from Nana Akufo-Addo's press statement of Thursday, March 13, namely GDP, daily minimum wage and investment to the manufacturing sector.
Quoting from official figures from the Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Finance, World Bank, the GIPC, and the Ghana Statistical Service, Nana Akufo-Addo stated, that under the NPP the size of the Ghanaian economy has nearly quadrupled "from a GDP of US$3.9 billion to about US$15 billion today.”
He added that from 1993 to 2000, the dollar equivalent of the daily minimum wage in Ghana fell from $0.96 to $0.60 cents. But, the CPP’s economic advisers, some of whom are known to have questioned the veracity of official GDP growth rates in the past, have challenged the official figures referred to by Nana Akufo-Addo, without actually disclosing their source of the alternative figures, such as the exchange rates preferred by the CPP.
For example, Nana Akufo-Addo’s GDP figure of ¢27.15 trillion or US$3.9 billion for year 2000 was based on an annual average exchange rate of ¢7,050.00 (GH¢0.7050).
On the other hand, the CPP’s conversion of ¢27.15 trillion GDP for the same year to dollars used a lower annual average exchange rate of ¢5,456.00 (GH¢0.5456) to arrive at the higher US$4.9 billion. This explains the difference of US$1.0 billion. But, the crucial issue is that the CPP has not shown the source of their peculiar exchange rate figures.
Again, the daily minimum wage was ¢790.00 in 1993. Nana Akufo-Addo’s annual average exchange rate to the US dollar for the ¢790.00 daily minimum wage in 1993 was ¢822.00. This gives a dollar equivalent minimum wage of US$0.96. The CPP curiously used a lower annual average exchange rate of ¢648.90 to arrive at the USD equivalent of US$1.22. (See P2 for table)
The Statesman is throwing a challenge to the CPP to show the source of their exchange rate figures on this one, too.
Investment to the Manufacturing sector
GIPC figures which CPP referred to in their press statement, show that projected investment to the manufacturing sector from 1994-2000, under the NDC, was ¢320 million, whereas between 2001 and 2006, investment inflows to the sector was ¢2,286.09 billion, approximately ¢2.3 billion in 2006.
While the CPP does not have any alternative figures to challenge this, they have reduced their challenge to one of skepticism.
Their statement, which appears to defend the NDC record than project the CPP as a better alternative, ended up exposing the CPP as seeking to dabble in 'propaganda economics.’
"We deem it our moral duty to set the record straight as part of our contribution to a healthy and useful debate in this election season," their statement read.
It added, "Given the near-collapse of the manufacturing sector under the NPP, the question that arises from this claim is: Which government agency invested this money, and in what industries? The public deserves to know."
This question can only stem from the CPP’s atavistic belief that only government can act as the engine of economic growth. The investments in the manufacturing sector, according to checks made by The Statesman, were made mainly by the private sector.
Meanwhile, according to the latest report from the BoG, the domestic industry and the private sector benefited from a rapid expansion in credit with continued strong asset and credit growth through January 2008.
On year on year basis, banks’ credit to the private sector grew by 60.4 percent (GH¢1,256.9 million) to GH¢3,336.9 million in January 2008, compared with 46.9 percent (GH¢664.3 million) in the year to January 2007.
The Services sector accounted for 32.1 percent of the increase in credit with some 45 percent of the amount channeled into personal loans.
This sector is followed by Commerce (19.0 percent), Miscellaneous (15.6 percent), Construction (10.6 percent) and transport, storage and communication (5.4 percent), and Agriculture (3.4 percent).
This increase in credit was financed by deposits, which have grown significantly, with demand deposits growing by 24.6 percent to GH¢1,507.0 million at the end of January 2008, compared with a growth of 42.9 percent for the same period in 2007.
Savings & Time deposits stood at GH¢1,890.0 million at the end of January 2008, representing an annual growth of 49.9 percent.
Also, total assets of the banking industry recorded an annual growth of 46.2 percent to GH¢7,807.1 million at the end of January 2008, compared with 38.1 percent, GH¢5,341.7 million in January 2007.
At the bottom of the CPP attack was their apparent unhappiness at being sidelined in Nana Akufo-Addo’s view of who the real players are in Election 2008.
"While we recognise the many sacrifices and contributions that Hon Akufo-Addo has made towards Ghana’s democratic development, we deem it unfortunate that he would seek to reduce the 2008 elections into a contest between the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC)," the CPP statement reads.
The statement further urges: "We call upon Ghanaians, therefore, to disregard any notion that the 2008 elections would be between only the NDC and NPP; it will not."
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